Scenic USA - Washington

Nisqually Entrance - Mount Rainier National Park

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Nisqually Entrance Historic District - Mount Rainier National Park, Ashford, Washington

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Ben's Panoramio Gallery

     Because of its short distance from the Seattle area, Mount Rainier from Kautz Creek less than two hours travel time, Mount Rainier National Park is one of the metro area's popular park retreats. During the summer, when the weather is warm and dry, and wildflowers blanket the mountainsides, visitors find it's an easy climb to Paradise. By mid October, snowfall may begin to accumulate and park crews begin their daily ritual of snow removal. The southwest entrance at Nisqually, named for the nearby river, is open year round, while others become snowed-in during the winter months. Here at Nisqually, visitors will get their first glimpse of the park's huge Pacific Coast trees. Unimaginable amounts of precipitation, long days of sunshine, and rich volcanic soils all contribute to the Evergreen State's dense stands of Douglas fir, western red cedar, grand fir and giant western hemlock.
     Just past the entrance at Nisqually, park guests come to Kautz Creek and one Lower Christine Falls -  Mount Rainier National Park, WA of the first park views of Mount Rainier, and one of most massive volcanoes in the world. Easily seen from many vantage points throughout the park, Mount Rainier stands guard over this 235,612 acre park. Still an active volcano, the 14,410 foot peak reminds visitors of the awesome power, as well as the beauty of nature.
     Mount Rainier National Park is a great example of the power of advocacy. The park’s inception depended on a group of united individuals during the mid 19th century. Recognized as a tremendous natural asset, consisting of dense forests, splendid lakes, waterfalls, and vast snowfields, a group of persistent and concerned citizens gave birth to the idea of a Mount Rainier National Park. A bill, establishing Mt. Rainier as America's 5th national park, was signed into law by President William McKinley on March 2, 1899.

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